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Property Division

New Jersey is an equitable division state. In all actions where a judgment of divorce, dissolution of civil union, divorce from bed and board or legal separation from a partner in a civil union couple is entered, the court may make such award or awards to the parties, in addition to alimony and maintenance, to effectuate an equitable distribution of the property, both real and personal, which was legally and beneficially acquired by them or either of them during the marriage or civil union.

However, all such property, real, personal or otherwise, legally or beneficially acquired during the marriage or civil union by either party by way of gift, devise, or intestate succession shall not be subject to equitable distribution, except for gifts between spouses or between partners in a civil union couple which shall be subject to equitable distribution.

In making a determination for equitable distribution of property, the court shall consider the following factors:

The court may not make an award concerning the equitable distribution of property on behalf of a party convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to murder the other party. No person convicted of Murder; Manslaughter; Criminal Homicide; Aggravated Assault; or a substantially similar offense under the laws of another jurisdiction may receive alimony if the crime results in death or serious bodily injury to a family member of a divorcing party; and the crime was committed after the marriage or civil union.

Couples, generally with the assistance of qualified New Jersey attorneys, can make decisions about property division amongst themselves prior to or during their divorce actions. Once you are educated about the factors and entitlements considered by the New Jersey Family Courts when deciding issues related to property division, you and your spouse can decide what you think is fair and develop a settlement agreement based upon your own terms. You should use the assistance of a qualified New Jersey family law attorney to negotiate and/or draft and review your agreement to ensure that you understand what you are agreeing to.